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Report: U.S. retail sales rise 3.5% during holidays

BY Dan Berthiaume

Purchase, N.Y. – U.S. retail sales reportedly rose 3.5% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, 2013 compared to the same period in the prior year. According to data from MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, sales of holiday-related categories, such as clothing, electronics and luxury goods, rose 2.3%, after rising 0.7% in 2012.

The categories of jewelry and children’s apparel showed the strongest sales improvements, while men’s and women’s apparel performed the poorest compared to the previous year. Electronics and non-jewelry luxury items reported flat sales. Discounts reportedly helped fuel holiday sales growth.

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ICSC: Holiday sales up 1.4% week ending Dec. 21

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Weekly sales rose by 1.4% for the week ending Dec. 21, 2013. According to figures from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index, on a year-over-year basis, the pace of sales also improved and grew by 2.7%.

For December, ICSC Research expects monthly sales will increase between 3% and 4% as the promotional environment continues to be intense.

“Consumers reported in the ICSC-GS consumer tracking survey that the average holiday-gift completion rate rose to 83.5% through Sunday, close to last year’s 84% at a comparable time, which is good news for retailers and the industry,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC VP of research and chief economist.

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comScore: Retail provides six gaining November desktop categories

BY Dan Berthiaume

Reston, Va. — Several retail subcategories were among the top-gaining in November as Thanksgiving kicked off the holiday shopping season. According to comScore Media Metrix analysis of U.S., desktop activity in November 2013, the retail categories of toys, consumer electronics, jewelry/luxury goods/accessories, department stores, mall, and fragrances/cosmetics all were among the top 10 gaining desktop site categories in November.

Toys reported the highest percent change of any retail category (30%), and had 22.6 million unique visitors for the month. Department stores, had the highest number of unique visitors (85.1 million) and 21% growth. Toys had the second-highest percent change and department stores had the fifth-highest. E-cards led all categories with 65% growth and 16.9 million unique visitors.

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